Thom Bennett - Website and graphic design

Thom
Bennett

Website & graphic design

info@tbgd.co.uk
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Design-Business Success By Raising Your Confidence

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Your confidence level has a huge influence on the chances of you doing things that feel challenging, or on some days, of working on your business at all!

Whether there’s a business task looming that’s making you nervous, or you want to quiet an internal voice that says “I can’t do such-and-such”; if you had an experience that knocked your confidence; or even when all is going well—a fantastic success tool is to keep your business confidence high.

So here are six tried-and-tested methods for raising and maintaining your business confidence.

1. BECOME A DETECTIVE

Figure out what’s lowering your confidence in the situation. Examples could be a similar event in the past that didn’t work out, or under-playing your own skills and experience. That happens, especially when we’re plowing a new furrow, like when we’re growing a design business or starting a freelance career. You could list everything you learned from that last time and how you’ll use that learning to improve. Or you could note your relevant skills and experience and how you’ve used them in the past to great effect.

2. CONSIDER YOUR PAST SUCCESSES

Whether it’s scoring a home run, finding a new client, or creating design work you’re proud of, remembering a time you did good can really boost your confidence. What skills and aptitudes did you use and how did you feel before and after? Bring that learning and that feel-good factor into your current challenge. Many of us tend to downplay, forget or dismiss our successes, so how about…

3. KEEPING AN ACHIEVEMENTS JOURNAL

Get a cool notebook and note every success you have, with the date it happens. You’ll be amazed at how fast the list builds-up and how great you feel when you read it. You could include successes from the whole of your life, or solely from your freelancing.

4. FIND A CHEERLEADER

Get in touch with a supportive person you know and get them to: say why they think you’re great at what you do; help you remember some of your past achievements; remind you of four things you’re good at.

5. START A COMPLIMENTS JOURNAL

How quickly do you forget compliments and encouraging feedback from clients and other people? From now on, each time you’re told something great about your designs or your business, write it down! (Add the name of the person who said it, as well as the date they said it.) Re-enjoy those good feelings each time you re-read your journal.

6. SHOOT A MOVIE

Maybe not literally—but imagine for a moment you need to pitch to some potential new clients. In that situation, you would start by picturing yourself in the room giving your pitch. See it all going very well: you’re in the zone; your audience are nodding and smiling; they’re leaning forward, showing interest and asking questions—you know the drill. You can hear the various voices asking you questions, you can feel the keys of your laptop under your fingertips, you can hear the room’s air-con.

Refer to your particular situation—picture things going well. Make your images very real and include local sounds and textures, as per the example I’ve just given.

Now re-run things, but this time rather than pictures in your mind’s eye, imagine them showing on a widescreen TV, with your sounds and textures.

Let’s run things again, but this time see your images on a movie theater screen and give them surround sound, maybe even Smell-O-Vision!

PUT INTO PRACTISE

The techniques above train your brain and your emotions in various ways, including feeling comfortable about achievement; seeing yourself as a successful person; and considering past events to be learning experiences rather than failures.

You may like all of the above techniques, or you may prefer just a few—whichever you choose, making them a regular part of your life, will raise your confidence level, helping you to be more resilient against business knocks & challenges.

Cover and top image (CC) by thinkpanama via Flickr

I’m Mhairi Gordon-Preston and I help design business-owners & freelancers become more profitable and more fulfilled. Get monthly tips from me, plus a gift ecourse at www.SuitFreeBusinessHelpForDesignCompanies.com. I worked as a designer for 10 years, have run my own businesses for 10 years and am an Enterprise Champion in my local town, helping small businesses connect with each other.
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http://www.designtaxi.com/article/101740/Design-Business-Success-By-Raising-Your-Confidence/

Your confidence level has a huge influence on the chances of you doing things that feel challenging, or on some days, of working on your business at all!

Whether there’s a business task looming that’s making you nervous, or you want to quiet an i…